We all know that when the all-time greatest golfer conversation starts, inevitably the conversation comes down to Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. I've seen them both and would have a hard time deciding, only because Jack's career is over, and Tiger is only 37. To me, right now Jack is number one, but in the end, it could be Tiger. Enough said.
What I would like to start is a conversation about is who is your all-time favorite golfer, and why. As we know from every other sport, being the best does not always translate to popularity. For instance, my all-time favorite NFL player is Bobby Lane. He is in the Hall of Fame, but in no way has ever been considered the best at his position. What I loved was his Errol Flynn, "swashbuckling" style, and charismatic nature.
So, in the replies to this post, could you just let us know who was you favorite golfer and why.
For me, my all-time favorite is Arnie Palmer. I was 10 years old when Arnie birdied 17 & 18 at Augusta to win his second green jacket in 1960. After that I was hooked. Not only was he from Western Pennsylvania, (as am I), but he won 62 tour events and 7 major championships. On the course he had that "go for broke" mentality that we saw in Tin Cup...
During the Los Angeles Open at Rancho Park in 1961, Arnold Palmer teed it up on the par-five eighteenth hole. He hit a good drive but hit his next four shots out of bounds. Finally he hit his 10th shot over the green, chipped on for 11 and putted out for a 12. When he was later asked how he made 12, he reportedly quipped, "I missed a 15-footer for an 11."
The manner in which Arnie interacted with his army of fans is still unsurpassed. I have personally witnessed him signing autographs for well over an hour after practicing at the range until everyone present had been taken care of. Arnold Palmer is widely known for his unfailing sense of kindness and thoughtfulness, and his philanthropic outreach is one of the best examples of this. The Arnold Palmer Charities are wide ranging and include cancer research and treatment, hospitals for women and babies, and the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve is an environmental, educational and recreational area near his hometown of Latrobe, PA.